A reader wants to bring in a shotgun from France

Q: I am considering buying 
a shotgun from a friend 
who is based in France. I hold 
a European firearms pass and understand the process of travelling with a shotgun but don’t understand the process of buying one from the EU.

What I want to know is what I have to do on the French side legally and what I can do to make things run smoothly. Also it occured to me – how do I register 
a shotgun on my ticket with no seller reference (unlike a UK RFD or individual licence number).

Importing a shotgun from the EU – straightforward

A: Bringing a shotgun into England from the EU is clearcut. This is what you need to do.

  • When you go to France, take your shotgun certificate with you.
  • Get your friend to enter the gun’s details on Table 2 and sign to confirm.
  • When you arrive back in the UK you must go through the red channel at Customs and declare the gun as 
a personal import. You should not have to pay duty on it, but that is a matter between you and Customs.
  • Once on UK soil, your shotgun certificate permits the lawful possession of shotguns so there 
can be no argument that you are importing it illegally.
  • You need to tell the chief officer who issued the certificate that you have acquired this shotgun so that it can go on to your holding record on the National Firearms Licensing Management System. This can be done via email to the email address on the relevant police website.
  • Ask for a read receipt and keep 
a hard copy of the email and any acknowledgement number you may be sent. This needs to be done within seven days of acquisition. You don’t need to send your shotgun certificate.

Hope that clears things up for you.